BcL-xL Conformational Changes upon Fragment Binding Revealed by NMR

Clémentine Aguirre 1 Tim Ten Brink 1 Olivier Walker 2 Florence Guillière 2 D. Davesne 3 Isabelle Krimm 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 Criblage de fragment
ISA - Institut des Sciences Analytiques
2 INTERACT - Interactions biomoléculaires
ISA - Institut des Sciences Analytiques
3 Théorie
IPNL - Institut de Physique Nucléaire de Lyon
Abstract : Protein-protein interactions represent difficult but increasingly important targets for the design of therapeutic compounds able to interfere with biological processes. Recently, fragment-based strategies have been proposed as attractive approaches for the elaboration of protein-protein surface inhibitors from fragment-like molecules. One major challenge in targeting protein-protein interactions is related to the structural adaptation of the protein surface upon molecular recognition. Methods capable of identifying subtle conformational changes of proteins upon fragment binding are therefore required at the early steps of the drug design process. In this report we present a fast NMR method able to probe subtle conformational changes upon fragment binding. The approach relies on the comparison of experimental fragment-induced Chemical Shift Perturbation (CSP) of amine protons to CSP simulated for a set of docked fragment poses, considering the ring-current effect from fragment binding. We illustrate the method by the retrospective analysis of the complex between the anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL protein and the fragment 4′-fluoro-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-carboxylic acid that was previously shown to bind one of the Bcl-xL hot spots. The CSP-based approach shows that the protein undergoes a subtle conformational rearrangement upon interaction, for residues located in helices 2, 3 and the very beginning of 5. Our observations are corroborated by residual dipolar coupling measurements performed on the free and fragment-bound forms of the Bcl-xL protein. These NMR-based results are in total agreement with previous molecular dynamic calculations that evidenced a high flexibility of Bcl-xL around the binding site. Here we show that CSP of protein amine protons are useful and reliable structural probes. Therefore, we propose to use CSP simulation to assess protein conformational changes upon ligand binding in the fragment-based drug design approach.
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Clémentine Aguirre, Tim Ten Brink, Olivier Walker, Florence Guillière, D. Davesne, et al.. BcL-xL Conformational Changes upon Fragment Binding Revealed by NMR. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8, pp.e64400. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0064400⟩. ⟨in2p3-00839023⟩

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